The American Institute of CPAs has issued a draft proposal outlining new content and skill specifications it wants to include in the Uniform CPA Examination, including a greater focus on ethics.

The AICPA is asking for public comment on the proposed updates. They include more in-depth descriptions of the skills necessary for entry-level CPAs, as well as the inclusion of International Financial Reporting Standards for the first time.

The exposure draft results from an analysis that the AICPA conducted this year to ensure that the CPA Exam remains valid and relevant. Also behind it is two years of practice analysis work by thousands of contributors - among them CPAs who submitted survey responses and those who provided subject matter expertise - as well as psychometricians, cognitive scientists, test developers and other professionals.

The exposure draft proposes that CPA candidates be tested on the IFRS conceptual framework and that additional testing of international standards occur if IFRS becomes generally accepted in the United States. The AICPA Board of Examiners noted there is a worldwide movement toward acceptance of IFRS, and IFRS is in the process of converging with U.S. generally accepted accounting principles.

Comments on the exposure draft are due by July 31, and will be considered by the Board of Examiners as the proposed content and skill specifications are finalized. The new specifications will be scheduled for implementation after they have been approved and will be available to students, educators and other interested parties well in advance of the effective date.